MarketingTechnologyUncategorized

3D printing for business

3D Printing For Business

Once something thought to be the stuff of fictional movies, now is becoming more and more reality for businesses from small to large. 3D Printing. You don’t have to be  in a lab recreating a dinosaur part like form the movie Jurassic Park III.

There are endless applications for the use of 3D printers in today’s business world. Here are a couple simple ideas.

Custom signage

You can print signage as a whole or pieces that put together. Make an impact with your design on doorways, hallways and desks in your office. A simple way to keep consistent branding throughout the company while being able to print to size you need. In the Panda Rose office we printed off some decorations for the office too!

Repair pieces

Printing pieces for repairing items you have built or things that are simply broken, is a lot more practical then you might think. Check out this blog post by Projects By Zac about things he has 3D printed to repair. Things from his simply fan to his car door handle! How many times in the office or shop has there been an item that is simple to fix or replace but it is a matter of getting or ordering the part? Sometimes with ordered parts you are forced to purchase many of them that you don’t even need and/or have to wait for them to be shipped too.

Prototyping

Scale models of projects and prototyping of designs is a huge application for 3D printing. So you have designed a part, invention or creation for a client, you are about to have hundreds, thousands or even millions made. with 3D printing you can give yourself a chance to have a good look at the design, feel it in your hands and make design adjustments.

In the case of custom metal or woodworking, you can print off specialty pieces that fit your clients/build exact needs, saving time and money on searching or adjusting your designs.

Promotional materials

Need a thank you gift for a client or staff member? Print them off their very own promotional item. We printed a cookie cutter here at Panda Rose not long ago as a fun gift for a staff member who likes to bake. Gone are the days of promotional mugs you stock somewhere “in the back” with your old logo before your company did a re-branding. You can create custom promotional materials that suit your campaign/client/occasion.

Medical applications

You are a dentist, a physiotherapist or a chiropractor and your patient needs to see the visual difference in whats being done. You can print it!  Just check out this full article on 3D printing and how it is revolutionizing the dental industry.

 

Check out our Instagram to see our time lapse video of the 3D printer working!

MarketingSEOTechnologyUncategorizedWeb Development

Your website if the first impression people have of your business.

They are searching the internet for your services or product and they land on your page! Congratulations they found you! Which even finding you is hard enough with tons of businesses online competing for the same top of the search page spot.

They navigate to your website and are greeted by an unappealing site, irrelevant information or it’s SLOW. *que dramatic music* Consumers attention spans are short and when they are searching for information or products, even shorter when they are stopped by a SLOW moving or difficult to navigate website.

Did you know that 47% of users leave a website if its loading time is more than 3 seconds? So optimization is a vital thing for your website. If it’s well-functioning and the content/ products there are of a high-quality, more visitors will surely come and conversion rates will increase.

Deborah, our in house Web Development Expert says “Your website is an extension of your business. You want your website to match the professionalism of your business.”

Having a clear message you are trying to portray to potential clients and customers right away is what will keep them on your website, navigating and researching who you are and just what it is that you do.

In addition, great websites are showcases for some of your best work. You can show of all the amazing products or jobs you have completed to a potential client/customer before they even have the chance to contact you. This decreases some of the time spent answering questions, making your business just that much more efficient.

Finally, a good website with great content helps get you noticed on search engines. The more time people spend on your site and the more often the visit, the more search engines believe your site and information to be relevant. If you want to learn more about SEO check out our recent blog post What even is SEO? And How To Use It.

 

TechnologyWeb Development

Email is a place of business. It is important in our world’s communication.It has many perks, multiple people can communicate together. Files and images can be shared. You do not have to be present to receive and email. And everyone has it.

 

On the negative side of email comes, spam and viruses. Which are extremely disruptive in our professional place of communication. Along with the chance of our personal information being stolen.

 

If email had sender authentication these problems would be no more.

 

Why doesn’t email have sender authentication?

Email was created in the 60s. At this time, those with email were in the government, universities and research labs. There was no need to be cautious when it came to email security. Sender authentication was not a need then because they were not being threatened by a web full of destructive individuals. And because there was a general sense of trust among those with access to emailing.

 

The form of communication was invented without creating the solutions to problems that were not yet known. Which I believe was the right thing to do. We shouldn’t be stopped from advancing in this world because of the unknown risks. Those risks can be taken care of once we know what they are.

 

Email wasn’t created with sender authentication in the 60s for understandable reasons. We are now well aware of the security issues that invade the email system today. From stealing passwords, unwanted emails and financial threats. My question is, why have we not yet fixed the problem?

 

Sender authentication would be a game changer for anyone with an email account as we would finally have the security to withstand attacks.

 

Tessa Houcher

FutureTechnology

Technology is taking over the classroom and there are a lot of opinions, policies, loopholes and rebellions. Its messy and can be frustrating, but it is an issue every teacher and student go in this day and age and I would like to touch on the subject.

 

In the average North American classroom today, there is a laptop for the teacher and maybe a smart-board. The students might have iPads or laptops available to them, or the school supplies list requested such devices. It is apparent, tech is used in the classrooms. These tools are a benefit to the learning experience of students and for the teaching efficiency of teachers.

The issues arise when it comes to the smartphones. On average, children age 10 get their first smartphone. Though I would assume before that age, kids are immersed into smartphone use. And we all know that come high school, students are practically attached to their phones. It’s no wonder why teachers are banning phones from their classrooms. No one wants to teach a room full of students with their eyes glued to their personal 5 by 2 inches of screen.

 

But here is why I stand on the progressive side of things. Kids with smartphones will one day be adults with smartphones. Who is going to teach them how to best use their smartphone?

 

I know this is a real issues because of the elderly. They have trouble understanding their smartphones, the correct purposes of them and therefore they make avoidable mistakes. For example, at times my grandparents will interrupt a conversation to investigate a notification they receive, whether it is important or not. They are found to spend too much time on their phones than is appropriate in social gatherings. Plus seniors are adding themselves into the social media world and they post, comment and share as often as the rest of us, just with less of a filter, for better or worse. (No wonder people can’t stand Trump on Twitter.)

 

I love my grandparents and the other elderly in my life, they are great at many things, but they are definitely lacking in the best ways to use their smartphones. Though they deserve some slack, they didn’t grow up with these devices, giving them the chance to learn what is appropriate and what is not.

 

Now considering our current students, would we not like to give them the education about phones they need in order to be socially correct, polite and efficient?

 

One would like to think parents and others in the leadership positions of children to be perfect examples of phone efficiency and etiquette. But we all know we are less than perfect ourselves when it comes to using our phones politely. Texting and driving, being on phones during meetings and other social gatherings, taking information on social media too seriously and forgetting where we are or what we are doing because our phones can distract us are not good demonstrations for the leaders of tomorrow.

 

Should we not take full advantage of the learning environment school provides to teach about the best ways to use  the smartphones they already have in their pockets? Imagine the issues that would cease to exist! Their generation would look at ours and wonder why WE use our smartphones so poorly.

 

I am not suggesting full out courses on smartphone etiquette. Though I’d imagine a couple classes about phones at a younger age wouldn’t hurt. But I am recommending smartphones be used in the classroom. Due date reminders, Google translate, a second way to view the textbooks, calculator, camera, calendar, research, etc. are all simple ways we use our smartphones everyday, why not teach tomorrow’s adults how to use these tools best?

 

Today, students with smartphones are punished for bringing their smartphones to school which is understandable, as currently there is no lesson plan to implement the smartphones into the teaching. But as you can see, I believe this needs to be changed.

 

At Panda Rose, we are often using smartphones as they are needed to develop and test Apps and websites. We understand the importance of them for our world today and moving forward into tomorrow.

I am aware that I am not in the classroom right now attempting to get the full attention of  two dozen 10 year olds. While there are hero teachers doing just that right now and we all applaud you. Who am I to tell you that your students all need smartphones at their desks?

 

Teachers know their students and will make the best decision for the entire class. Whether that means a no phones allowed rule, that smartphones can only be used in English class for dictionary and thesaurus uses or only at the end of the day to set up reminders and events to replace paper agendas.

 

Depending on the class, smartphone policies could be applied to fit the teacher and student needs as well as be a prime time for students to learn smartphone etiquette.

 

Let me know your thoughts on children using smartphones in classrooms, this subject is worth the discussion.

 

Tessa Houcher

FutureProductivityTechnology

limousine

Mobile homes were an all round great idea. Most include beds, a kitchen, living room furniture, it can all be packed up for safe transfer and you can drive it along with all you that you need wherever!

The food truck is genius for restaurant chains and those who want to put their food creations on wheels. In some cases the trucks can come to requested locations and other times they pop up and give food lovers a pleasant surprise.

limousine

The limousine… need I say more?

These vehicles with extravagant features and purposes were amazing ideas. So whats next?

Apparently there has been development in mobile offices.

Now you may be thinking, ‘well that doesn’t sound very fun.’ And I would agree. Fun is not the goal, but when I got thinking about the mobile office, my trailing thoughts made me excited for such development.

Whether or not people have been developing these specific concepts or not I do not know, but these are the ideas I myself put together.

Here are my ideas

Imagine the floor of a vehicle, that looks nothing like a vehicle’s floor. The floor is a perfect rectangle that comfortably fits a table, four chairs, a coat hanger and water cooler. There are four walls. These walls are giant one-way windows that are also touch screens. There are two sliding doors, one on each of the long sides of the rectangle. And of course there would be wifi and charging stations for all the needed electronics.

You may be thinking, ‘Now that sounds dangerous.’ Not to worry friends, by the time mobile offices become a priority, all vehicles will be self driven.

What’s the point?

People would use the mobile offices for getting work done while they are still on the go. No more clocking in late for your office job.

Still not convinced?

How about mobile meetings? What if the mobile office could hold 12 chairs comfortably? A presenter could show the actual location of the proposed hotel building to the board all while everyone still has their devices on a table and notes are drawn by finger tips on the walls around them. Your designer team needs inspiration? Rent a mobile office and allow them to all get out of the office, with the ability to continue working but their surroundings are changing and influence can be pulled from anywhere! Or a mobile art class!

people at conference table

I think there is real potential for the mobile office and I hope that one day I get to use one!


I also have my own idea for the next mobile features. A vehicle with workout equipment! For now we will call it the mobile gym.

It looks very similar to the mobile office from the outside. But inside, there is gym equipment. Now, before you roll your eyes let me explain.

The mobile gym would have space efficient equipment that would be customized to the owner/renter. The touch screen would display your workout schedule, music and could also have a virtual trainer. People would use the mobile gym as they would workout as they commute.

woman weight lifting

If someone wanted to make sure that they worked out daily, they could set up a program that helped them do so. A program could make it so that their phones would only charge if they were producing power through working out. Or maybe the one way mirrors would shut off exposing the interior if no one had been working out for the last 5 minutes.

Can you even imagine?

Yes I thought about the fact that a mobile gym could look ridiculous as people can walk, run or bike to places they need to go while being fit. But running in -22 degrees is not ideal and biking to work is not a reasonable option for those with a commute that is already 20 minutes of driving outside of city limits.

There is still a lot of development needed before these ideas are put into action. But I still think it’s fun to imagine what the future of transportation will look like. Maybe our mobile homes, food trucks and limos will all hover and fly by the time we get around to adding offices and gyms.

street

Where do you see our technology in transportation taking us? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

Tess Houcher

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FutureTechnology

You’ve heard it a million times, “This is nothing like we have seen before.” “This is our first ever…” And “The new and improved..” Our world is in an era of new. This is a fascinating time to be alive. We are constantly seeing new brands, products and technologies made to be the biggest, best and improve our everyday lives. Please tell me I am not the only one who gets excited about our future technology and what it means for each of us personally.

All of this new, also means that there is a lot that we don’t know. We don’t know what consumers will actually use. We have to learn what works and what doesn’t. Learn about the benefits of our new tech along with the negative repercussions.

But I have a concern. What happens when our technology advances us? And this time I am not referring to a robot army taking over the planet. What I do mean is that robots could take all of our jobs.

Good quality customer service and homemade products are hard to beat. How could we replace the well trained friendly staff for robots? Customers want fresh products made by the people who care about what they are selling, there is no way a robot made meal will feel authentic. While there are these and other points to consider, what happens when a robot is considerably cheaper than human employees?

Employees need hours of training, maybe years of schooling, vacations, maternity or paternity leave, sick days and benefits. Compare that with a specially designed robot who can do everything a taxi driver can. This robot will most definitely cost a lot of money, but it will not need the list of necessities including interpersonal relationships and the HR department that a human does. Yes, computers crash and robots malfunction but they can be replaced. A human cannot, at least not without a company falling behind for a moment or for weeks.

About 4.6 million people in the US alone work in retail and almost 5 million people drive a vehicle for a living. (Truckers, taxis, ubers, transit bus.) These are just two categories of jobs that could very soon be handed over to the robots. The amount of people in unemployment would be devastating.

A few more places of work that I can imagine being altered greatly by new technologies are libraries, pharmacies, restaurants, custodian work, sales and even farms. I obviously don’t know exactly what tech will affect the jobs involved in these businesses but I know that we have already seen these places of work changing to keep with the times.

Did you know that milk farms milk their cows with robots? This giant machine can feed and wash the cows all while the cow is milked. This cuts back on the number of people needed to get all this work done, meaning fewer jobs. I’m sure the cows love the 24 hour service though.

Our watches can diagnose us with a low or high heart rate. Imagine if we didn’t meet with a doctor to be diagnosed, but instead a robot was able to tell us the next steps we should take on the road to recovering from a flu or virus.

Japan has one of the first fully automated restaurants and America was quick to do the same. The orders are made digitally and in the Japan restaurant your food will be delivered via conveyor belt. In the American restaurant the order will appear in a cubby on the wall with your name and order number on the screen for you to take.

Then there is the Amazon go store. As you walk into this store you scan your amazon account code which signs you in. Then it is able to track when you pick up an item and it adds it to your cart. You are also able to put items back and not be charged for it. As you leave the store you pay for your purchase by exiting the building and the cost is charged to your amazon account. Pretty cool huh?

What will our world look like when all these places of work are occupied with robots to fulfill every task? Will our jobs become strictly management positions as we monitor robots? Would we go to school to basically learn about design to continue development of these robots? How would different political parties deal with automation and employment?

It’s hard to picture a world where robots are more than tools we use to assist us. In reality, it does sound very far away still. But what would that world look like? If you have thoughts on this topic I would love to hear them as none of us actually know what the future holds. Your hypothesis could be the opposite of mine and I would love to understand your thought process.

Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you very soon.

Tess Houcher

Be sure to check out these posts as I was informed and amazed by them and I know you would love to be too. ❤

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FutureMobile AppsSocial MediaTechnology

As futuristic as it sounds, the idea of a robot taking your every request and helping you with daily tasks around your home, the office and on the go, does not sound far off from reality. We are not at the point in technology when these luxuries are available to all of us but I do not doubt we are on our way to such a life. Our phones are already smart enough to text people for us, order takeout or groceries from our couches, replace a wallet, and can be used to make other devices function without that device even being in sight.

The next steps for our phone automated functions, start with bots. If you’re like me, when you hear the word bot, you imagine a small, friendly, helpful robot ready to help you as it would be their pleasure. Bots today, do happen to be those small, friendly, helpful individuals made to provide you with your requested assistance. Even though not long ago we would have considered such technology to be fictional. They may not look exactly as they do in the movies, but we do have bots at our very fingertips.

The bots that we have today are created for two main uses. Search bots are designed for searching information from a specific website or search the whole Internet. The utility bot accommodates you by fulfilling an assignment you give it.

We use search bots to see when the next showings of that new movie is in theaters or to find the latest news stories by simply speaking the request. The utility bot is used when you need to make a grocery purchase and the bot already has the groceries picked out for you as it has remembered your orders from last time. If you think about it, you use bots just like these all the time, we may just not think of them as bots.

Facebook has been working on bots of their own, they call them chatbots. They are creating these with hopes of providing a wide variety of services that could all be reached through their own app. During the development of these bots they noted that the bots were capable of conversing with humans intelligently. Which is a definite breakthrough as we all know how frustrating certain bots can be when they cannot follow the conversation needed in order to fulfill their tasks.

Some people I talk to about bots and the potential they have, are afraid of what will become of the human race if we create these robots to function better than our own species. For the time being, that is not at all a concern of the bot developers. These bots still need hands on development and constant upgrading to keep up with tasks required of them in order to become useful, let alone take over the planet.

When bots do fail while operational, it causes the same negative appearance that a poor website or unqualified sales rep gives the face of the company they work for. That situation is avoided at any cost, meaning highly intelligent bots are not normally released for our use until they really are highly intelligent. Though some of us would argue that we have already been in contact with these less than intelligent bots. But I guess that is all part of the learning and growing process for the bot builders.

 

Bots are capable of possessing the reliability and knowledge needed for great customer service or the ability to complete an assignment requested by just a text. This will make it possible to avoid human error and will allow for much less struggle for you! I am quite excited thinking about all the ways these bots will assist me as they start replacing the very applications that started them.

Tess Houcher 

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EducationTechnology

If you are anything like me, you’d like to spend more time with your kids, but find it hard to connect with them in a way that means something to the both of you. Mine is a homeschooling family, and there are many hours to fill each day. A friend of mine has been pointing out the reasons to invest in a 3d printer for our family. I’ve been cautious about the whole subject… it is quite a bit of money to begin with (for us… we are on a tight budget). So I took some time to look at the benefits of saving up and getting a 3d printer, and I’d like to share them with you.

1. It’s economical.

This is the first consideration for our family and probably for most others as well. It’s normal, and it’s a fair question. The good news is that a 3d printer can save you thousands of dollars over the years. A kilogram of plastic costs thirty loonies, and most items (I’m told) are only 10 grams of plastic. Consider that for a moment… for $30, I could print 300 items that I would otherwise buy in a store. Recently, my friend printed cookie cutter party favors for his son’s birthday party… I would spend at least $10 in a store for this project. That’s only one consideration. I’d love to immerse my children in concepts such as art and architecture, even with them being seven years and younger. Instead of just reading about it, we could print out an exact replica model with the right plans, which anyone can find for free online (I checked). So many great 3d printing model instructions are online. With our homeschooling lifestyle, I’m sure a 3d printer would more than pay us back within the first year. For families who don’t homeschool, I can see the same being true, especially if it’s used for more than just educational purposes. This brings me to my next point…

2. It’s practical.

Did you know that the only true difference between AA batteries and C batteries is their size? This is certainly news to me! Yet, it was easy to find this info online when looking for easy 3d printing projects. You can print adapters to use AAs in C battery electronics. Need a quick cell phone holder and amplifier? Just download the plans and go. Do you desire a carabiner for your key chain? Bottle openers? Coasters? Yes. These are all easily accessed and free for use online. 3d printing is revolutionizing the way we consume goods in this new millennium, by making us producers as well. And when you get bored with those projects, you can build robots, candy sorting machines, alarm clocks, simple watches, and even droids like those seen in Star Wars films (it may be expert level, but it can, and has, been done).

3. It’s tangible.

Most of us learn more easily through the senses. By using a 3d printer, you are connecting one more sense to your children’s impression of the world and what they are studying. Architecture, airplanes, and the human skeletal structure can all be made more real to your child through this revolutionary technology… the possibilities are limitless. Is your child interested in chemistry? Print out some molecules. Do fossils fascinate your child? Make some trilobites and dinosaur bones. Australia, mate? You could easily teach a lesson in aerodynamics, featuring different boomerang designs.

4. It can help save the planet.

At first, I wondered how this could be true. I mean, it’s plastic and other materials, so how is this helping to save the planet? It helps because all those plastic goods that used to be bought in stores can be printed at home… saving the fuel spent on freight, whether It’s by ship, airline, truck, or railway. Also, you wouldn’t be packaging these goods after you print them at your house… you wouldn’t be testing and using different types of ink, scraping what didn’t test well with consumer panels, etc. You would have a specific idea in mind, find the plans for it, and just print it. That’s cutting out a load of energy waste. Much of the plastic material for printing is recycled, and there are possibilities for recycling your projects when you are done with them.

5. We’ve only just begun.

I recently learned that wood, ceramic, and even glass can be 3d printed. You may have to have some different kinds of extruders and work at different temperatures, but the idea that these materials can now easily be 3d printed blows my mind. Can you imagine how far 3d printing can take us within the next 10 years? Will we be able to print circuitry? I’d be interested in being able to print all the parts of a phone or camera at home. With imagination and such an adaptable medium, there seems to be no end to what we could invent, assemble, or artistically create.

I’m sure there are other reasons to own a 3d printer as well. Especially after the research for this article, I don’t know if I can imagine *not* buying one when we can afford it. I’d be thinking of all the fun we’d be missing.

by Sarah Bennage